Lonnie Chisenhall, 25, third baseman, Cleveland Indians
Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images

He's not old enough to have seen Rocky IV in theaters, but Chisenhall, who is trying to take permanent hold of the third base position in Cleveland, takes pride in doing "Rocky Balboa workouts" in his North Carolina garage. "I'd have the heat cranked up and do almost two hours straight of push-ups, sit-ups, jump roping, even some of the moves out of the movie: upside-down pull-ups, some of the core moves. It's probably not as epic as riding 600 miles a week, but some of the workouts were above and beyond what the [Indians] gave me.

"I'm in the best shape I've ever been in before a season," says Chisenhall. "I'm 14 pounds lighter than I was a year ago. 

Chisenhall even devised a beach-running circuit to take advantage of the wealth of sand near where he lives in Beaufort, an oceanfront town north of Wilmington, N.C. "Being able to do footwork and agility with the sand moving under your feet is definitely a plus." Chisenhall does the following sequence in about 35 minutes before heading back to his gym to continue working out for about 45 more minutes.

Step 1: Mark off 100 yards, then sprint to the other side. Use the remaining time on the clock to recover. Repeat for 15 minutes.

Step 2: 100-yard lunges down and back. First time unweighted, next time, 30lb dumbbells. Rest at the end of each rep.

Step 3: 60- to 80-yard sprints, getting progressively faster.

Step 4: Ski-jump or gliding movements, trying to cover 100 yards.

Step 5: Sparq ladder drills, high knees, agility movements, backpedaling.